Alec, 21 from Partington, Manchester was two when the bullying started. It continued as he grew older and became more extreme: he was kicked and intimidated, had money and possessions stolen from him, and was shot repeatedly with ball bearing guns. He self-harmed, believing it was the only thing he could control. 

It was a time in my life I wish I could forget. For ages it felt like it was me, my sister and mum against the world – it wasn’t nice.

Alec’s father left when he was young, and when his mum met her new partner Tim, Alec finally felt like he had the father figure he’d craved. Tragically, Tim died four years later and unable to cope, Alec made several suicide attempts and was moved to a psychiatric unit, before being sent to a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU). 

Life within the PRU was good, but outside it was a different story. The bullying continued and Alec became reclusive. A support service called Stronger Families recommended he try Get Started with Radio, a Prince’s Trust programme - delivered in partnership with Reform Radio -that builds the confidence and motivation of disadvantaged young people.

I sat in the car outside for ages on the first and second day and literally forced myself to go in, but after that, it was easy. I loved it. The people were nice and respectful, I made friends, and I learned heaps.

As part of a  large group, Alec had to learn quickly and shone as a leader. He became a valued member of the group, co-produced a one-hour live radio show and gained his Bronze Arts Award.

He then went on to complete a 12 week digital traineeship, co-wrote a drama called Harry at Reform Radio, and began volunteering at the station  full time. 

My life is unrecognisable from what it used to be. Thanks to The Prince’s Trust and Reform Radio I believe in myself and my future. I have friends I can trust, and I’m happy. Really happy.

Alec has just secured his SIA Door Supervisor Licence and is looking to secure work in this area while studying Creative Media at Salford City College. Alec is interested in both routes and has recently completed his first job as a Door Supervisor at a Reform Radio event.